About Biodiesel


Better for engines. Better for economies. Better for the environment. Today’s biodiesel offers so many benefits for fleets, fuel retailers, drivers and more that it beats out standard diesel by a mile. Made from soybean oil, biodiesel reduces harmful greenhouse gases while also delivering high-quality performance you can trust all year long.

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Using Biodiesel

Check These Biodiesel Benefits

Reliable Engine Performance

Today’s biodiesel is a reliable, high-performance fuel that works in any diesel engine without modifications. It doesn’t hamper fuel efficiency nor create engine maintenance problems. Due to its superior lubricity, biodiesel reduces engine wear and contains higher cetane for enhanced power. It also offers engine cleaning properties.

Economical Operation

It costs no more to operate and maintain vehicles that are fueled with biodiesel. Plus, biodiesel users in Illinois save tax dollars. Blends of B11 and up (11 percent biodiesel and higher) are exempt from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. Lower blends of B1 to B10 (1 percent to 10 percent biodiesel) qualify for a partial Illinois sales tax exemption. Biodiesel producers gain federal tax credits as well.

All-Weather Fueltrucks in snow

Since 2003, vehicles fueled with biodiesel have logged billions of problem-free miles in all kinds of Illinois weather, including sub-zero temperatures. That means users can gain the economic, environmental and health benefits of biodiesel 365 days of the year.

Sustainable Fleet Operation

Fleets across Illinois depend on biodiesel for more sustainable operation. Members of the B20 Club are leaders in using B20 biodiesel to operate more efficiently, improve air quality and reduce their carbon footprints – all important benefits to their local communities.

Learn About The B20 Club

Cleaner, Healthier Air

Compared with regular diesel fuel, biodiesel has significantly fewer emissions of particulate matter and other harmful pollutants. In fact, biodiesel is labeled a Clean Air Choice® by the American Lung Association. Calculations show that using biodiesel can reduce a community’s overall health costs by reducing risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

See How Biodiesel Affects Health Costs

Less Carbon Footprint

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated biodiesel an advanced biofuel. Compared with regular diesel fuel, biodiesel generates 78.5 percent fewer CO2 emissions from production and use. Biodiesel contributes to a sustainable environment, generating 5.54 units of renewable energy for every unit of fossil energy used to produce it.

Jobs for Illinois

Illinois is one of the largest biodiesel-producing states. Biodiesel production supports nearly 2,000 jobs in all sectors of the Illinois economy. Between 2004 and 2015, the Illinois biodiesel industry generated $1.6 billion of household income and was responsible for more than $3 billion of Illinois Gross Domestic Product.

Made in U.S.A.

Made locally in Illinois, biodiesel reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It’s made from readily available, renewable resources, including soybean oil and animal fats. Soybean oil is a natural co-product of soybean processing, so biodiesel production doesn’t take land away from food production.


Bust These Biodiesel Myths

Myth: Voids Engine Warranty

Truth: Manufacturers Support Biodiesel

Using biodiesel does not void any manufacturers’ vehicle or engine parts and workmanship warranties. All U.S. diesel vehicle manufacturers support use of B5 biodiesel, and higher B20 blends can be used in more than 80 percent of the diesel vehicles coming off production lines.

See What Manufacturers Say

Myth: Increases Maintenance Costs

Truth: No Maintenance Worries

Biodiesel functions like conventional diesel fuel – requiring no engine modifications and no added maintenance. In fact, biodiesel has engine cleaning properties.

Find Out More About Using Biodiesel

Myth: Is Waste Grease

Truth: Is an Advanced Biofuel

It’s true that biodiesel can be made from recycled cooking oils, as well as soybean oil and animal fats. However, a refining process called transesterification converts these oils and fats into fuel-grade biodiesel that meets industry specifications. Don’t confuse raw fats and oils with high quality biodiesel fuel.

Learn How Biodiesel is Made

Myth: The Same as Ethanol

Truth: Made for Diesel Engines

Biodiesel and ethanol are both biofuels, but they come from different biological materials and have different uses. Biodiesel is made from oils and fats, creating a high BTU content fuel for diesel vehicles. Ethanol is an alcohol made from fermentation of of corn and cellulosic materials and is designed only for use in gasoline engines.

Here's More About the Differences

Myth: Doesn't Perform Well

Truth: Reliable Engine Performance

Biodiesel has higher cetane than U.S. diesel fuel, which means the fuel ignites faster and causes the engine to run better. B20 (20 percent blend of biodiesel with diesel fuel) provides similar fuel economy, horsepower, torque and haulage rates as diesel fuel. Biodiesel also has superior lubricity and it has the highest energy content of any alternative fuel.

Read More About Cetane

Myth: Causes Problems in Winter

Truth: Used Successfully Year-Round

B20 biodiesel blends are used successfully all year in the coldest U.S. climates. Treat biodiesel like regular diesel fuel by using cold-weather additives recommended by your fuel supplier. And, regardless of the fuel you use, make sure your storage tank is free from water that can freeze in cold temperatures.

More About Cold-Weather Performance


Biodiesel Resources

National Biodiesel Board